Google ends spat with Mississippi AG over his MPAA-tinged investigation
Google has ended its legal conflict with a Mississippi state official who opened a wide-ranging investigation into the search giant’s business practices.
A dismissal agreement (PDF) filed yesterday in court states that Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Google will “endeavor to collaborate in addressing the harmful consequences of unlawful and/or dangerous online content.” The document also states that Hood’s office withdrew the original subpoena on April 22 and acknowledges that Google “remains subject to the laws of the State of Mississippi and to the jurisdiction and authority of the Attorney General.”
The agreement comes after the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled against Google, finding that the search company’s challenge to Hood’s investigation was premature. However, the appeals court opinion also criticized Hood’s demands for evidence as being overly broad, noting that Google tried hard to comply.
At the time of the 5th Circuit ruling, Hood held a press conference in which he called Google’s decision to sue prematurely “pretty arrogant.”
Hood first sent a subpoena to Google in 2014, seeking information about how Google handles links to counterfeit goods, illegal drug sales, and copyright violations. In December of that year, Google sued to stop the investigation, saying that Hood sought to “punish” Google and pursue the unconstitutional goal of creating a “pre-filtered Internet.”
Some of Hood’s demands, such as that Google promote “authorized” sites and remove sites “substantially dedicated to intellectual property infringement,” mirrored those that Hollywood lobbyists had been seeking from the search giant for years. The Sony e-mail hack revealed a number of e-mails from MPAA lawyers and lobbyists planning to take on Google, which they called “Goliath,” by encouraging state AGs to get tough on the search company.
A Google spokesperson said the company had no comment beyond the filed stipulation.